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Orange Glou Wine Fair Comes to Brooklyn

The only orange wine fair in North America takes place this Sunday, November 5, at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg.

Doreen Winkler

Doreen Winkler is founder of Orange Glou, the NYC orange wine store, and its namesake wine fair.

Orange Glou Wine Fair will return to Brooklyn this weekend, with two sessions on Sunday, November 5 at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. The fair, which sold out in its premiere last year, features more than 100 wines from 35 wineries from around the world, all of which make notable orange wines.

Doreen Winkler founded the fair after starting an orange wine subscription service in 2019 and opening an orange wine store in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. 

What is orange wine, you ask? 

In essence, orange wine is a variation on white wine made by leaving the grapes in contact with their skins during fermentation, resulting in an orange or amber-hued color and a palate that’s distinct from white or red wines. Though the technique, known as maceration, is often traced back millennia to early winemaking in the country of Georgia, the term “orange wine” is credited to UK wine importer David Harvey, who first used it to describe wines being made in Etna, Sicily in 2004.

Two of orange wine’s pioneers also have Italian roots, albeit shared with Slovenia. Skin contact wines from Friuli producers Josko Gravner and the late Stanko Radikon were among the first of the new guard to earn notice. Their wines, made near the Slovenian border in Friuli, continue to serve as benchmarks today. Another influential producer from the region, Dario Princic, will have his wines featured at this year’s Orange Glou Wine Fair, as will Friuli winery Klanjscek, which grows grapes in its vineyards next to its agriturismo and restaurant.

La Bufferalla wine
Orange wine from Spain, shown at last year's Orange Glou wine fair in Brooklyn. Photo: Danielle Adams

Also participating in the fair is Lammidia, founded by childhood friends Davide Gentile and Marco Giuliani. Their natural orange wines from Abruzzo are stellar examples of minimalist intervention winemaking, where the grapes are left to ferment—and eventually, to speak—for themselves. As the duo notes on the website for its distributor Zev Rovine Selections, “Our wines are made simply by spontaneously fermented grapes. We don’t add anything else, no clarifying agents or filtration. Residual lees and grape skins are indicators of a genuine and natural process, necessary to keep the wines alive.”

Natural and low-intervention winemaking is typical of many orange wine producers, resulting in wines that not only display unusual colors, but that pair especially well with a wide range of foods, given that they tend to balance the crispness of whites with the earthiness and structure of reds. 

Those wanting a crash course or a refresher should head to Orange Glou this Sunday. The sessions are scheduled for 11am-2:30 pm ($55) and from 3-6 pm ($49); a ticket to either also comes with a collector’s Orange Glou Wine Fair glass. 

More information and tickets are available at the festival’s website.

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